Overview • Some background • The key issues for publishers and authors. • What commissioning editors are looking for. • Identifying suitable publishers for your work. • Preparing a publication proposal. • The publishing process. • Top tips.
Some Background• Publishing is a business – will this book sell?• But also critical are quality, reliability and reputation.• All these factors are in play when a proposal is assessed by a commissioning editor - they can’t bury their mistakes!
Is it a book?• How time sensitive is it?• Is it very specialist or narrowly focussed?• Is it more appropriate for a journal, an internal publication, specialist society publication, or a conference paper?• Does it tell a story?
Making plans• Discuss with colleagues and those who have published in the field – what experiences have they had with various publishers? – who would they recommend? – can they give you contact names?• Carry out online research on Amazon – what other books are there in the field?
Which publisher?• Look at a company’s list… will your book fit?• Remember that size isn’t everything• Do they have an appropriate series?• How international is the work and its audience?• Do you want your book to be marketed internationally? If so, consider the publisher’s international sales network.
Consult directories like theDirectory of Publishing(published annually by Continuum and the PublishersAssociation) orThe Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook (A& C Black)
And then…• Draw up a short list and prioritise• Think very carefully before sending multiple copies out. If you do, tell the publisher• Send your proposal to a named individual – it may get lost otherwise. Email is preferable.• Make it easy for the commissioning editor to contact you.• Be patient!
Book proposalsThe book proposal will identify:• the subject particulars of the book• who you are writing for• how you intend to structure your book• what your book will offer that others do not.• what your book will DO for the reader
Proposals• A good proposal should be concise and to the point.• Don’t assume the editor is the expert on the topic – make your copy accessible.• The market is just as important as the content.• An editor will have other people within the business to persuade, so keep content realistic and market focused.
A proposal should contain:1. A brilliant title/subtitle2. About the author/s or editors. • Include biographical details. Why are you qualified to write this?3. Synopsis. • Keep it brief – 300 to 500 words.4. Proposed contents list. • Be as detailed as possible.5. The readership and market. • Who? Where are they? How many of them are there?
6. The competition. • Be as detailed as possible. Give brief assessments of other titles. Explain why your book is better/different7. Size and format of book. Illustrations?8. Timescale.9. Other contributors.10. Other relevant information. Permissions? Conference tie-in?11. Provide a single sample chapter, or draft material if you have it. (not essential)
The publishing process 1. Commissioning editor assesses initial proposal.Reviewers’ comments sought2. Development and shaping of the proposal byauthor if necessary.3. Further external reviewing if necessary
4. Formal presentation to the Editorial Board by the Commissioning Editor5. If approved, the author is offered contract.Schedule and detail of book are agreed6. Marketing and cataloguing activities commence7. Author and Editor liaise, sample material may be assessed as the book progresses8. Final manuscript is read/reviewed
9. Cover design is commissioned and covercopy prepared for author to approve10. Manuscript is copy edited and queries referredto author11. Manuscript is designed and typeset12. Author and professional proof-reader check proofs. Index is prepared.13. Publication.14. Active sales commences; press copies are sentout, marketing continues.
Top tips for success:Prepare to be flexible.Take external reviewers’ comments on board if appropriate.Don’t send a full manuscript or notes asking for‘any ideas or advice’.Appreciate the symbiotic relationship between editor andauthor.Don’t suggest the book will ‘appeal to general reader’ .Be realistic about your book’s appeal.Think hard about your timescale.
Contacts at RoutledgeEducation (UK)• Anna Clarkson, Editorial Director• Educational Leadership, Management & Administration, Educational Foundations, firstname.lastname@example.org• Philip Mudd, Publisher• Higher Education, Adult Education/Lifelong Learning & Research Methods (Global) email@example.com• Alison Foyle, Publisher• Special Educational Needs; Literacy; Childhood Studies; Early Years firstname.lastname@example.org• Bruce Roberts, Publisher• David Fulton Primary Education & Routledge Educational Psychology email@example.com• Annamarie Kino-Wylam, Commissioning Editor (David Fulton Books)• David Fulton - Early Years, Secondary Education, Education Studies, Teaching Assistants firstname.lastname@example.org• Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor (Routledge)• Routledge Primary Education, Secondary Education & Education Studies Textbooks email@example.com